Yesterday I felt the earthquake.
As it happens at the brim of change
(when the world is about to become new and frightening)
I didn’t take it for what it was:
instead, I thought one of the cats had somehow
slipped under and inside the sofa and was now shaking it
as I lay in languid sorrow.
An unlikely cat would be the one to fit under my sofa
rare as this earthquake, (the first in a long time
to happen on this side of the world)
But I invented the cat, elastic to get under and strong to shake
the sofa with me lying on it,
I didn’t make sense of the trembling earth
jolting the rest of me
bringing it together
in the pulse of my shattered heart.
The earthquake was inside even before it materialized
in cats and sofas and my shaking soul trying to fit into a body
small for her.
Outside the tremor brought me to my senses
why die now when the end is already around the corner
if death is my only certainty
I’ll live for what I am worth
in a world that has become new and frightening.
Yesterday as I felt the earthquake
the layers of empty dirt falling into their places
Earth, bled of her oils, settling exhausted
Inside, my soul, condensed and fluid
resigned the fight, grew larger and lighter
fell into pace with the breath of Earth.
Words and photography ©Malu Baumgarten - all rights reserved